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David Broder calls out Rove-bashers

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By Michelle Malkin  •  September 7, 2006 09:06 AM

I had to read it several times to make sure it was genuine, but it really is true: Washington Post columnist David Broder calls out the left-wing media for its Rove Derangement Syndrome:

For much of the past five years, dark suspicions have been voiced about the Bush White House undermining its critics, and Karl Rove has been fingered as the chief culprit in this supposed plot to suppress the opposition.

Now at least one count in that indictment has been substantially weakened — the charge that Rove masterminded a conspiracy to discredit Iraq intelligence critic Joseph Wilson by “outing” his CIA-operative wife, Valerie Plame.

I have written almost nothing about the Wilson-Plame case, because it seemed overblown to me from the start. Wilson’s claim in a New York Times op-ed about his memo on the supposed Iraqi purchase of uranium yellowcake from Niger; the Robert D. Novak column naming Plame as the person who had recommended Wilson to check up on the reported sale; the call for a special prosecutor and the lengthy interrogation that led to the jailing of Judith Miller of the New York Times and the deposition of several other reporters; and, finally, the indictment of Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff — all of this struck me as being a tempest in a teapot.

No one behaved well in the whole mess — not Wilson, not Libby, not special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald and not the reporters involved.

The only time I commented on the case was to caution reporters who offered bold First Amendment defenses for keeping their sources’ names secret that they had better examine the motivations of the people leaking the information to be sure they deserve protection.

But caution has been notably lacking in some of the press treatment of this subject — especially when it comes to Karl Rove. And it behooves us in the media to examine that behavior, not just sweep it under the rug.

Broder specifically name-checks Sidney Blumenthal, Newsweek (for this Howard Fineman piece), and Joe Conason and The American Prospect, which ran this cover last August:

roveplamecvr.jpg

Writes Broder:

These and other publications owe Karl Rove an apology. And all of journalism needs to relearn the lesson: Can the conspiracy theories and stick to the facts.

Mirabile dictu! Good for Broder. Still waiting for the New York Times…

Andrew Cline at TAS is, too.

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